Hookworm is a parasite that resides in the intestine. The larvae an adult worm lives in the small intestine and causes diseases. Hookworm infection spreads through the feces of an infected person. The larvae can mature and penetrate the skin of humans.
Most people with hookworms do not have life-threatening symptoms. However, as the infection gets worst it affects your overall health.
Symptoms of Hookworm Infection
- Belly pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Severe symptoms of hookworm infection include:
- Blood loss in the intestines
- Extreme fatigue
- Chest pain
- Fast heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness cold hands and feet
- Digestive and nutritional problems in kids
What are the Causes of Hookworm Infection?
The causes of hookworm are contaminated soils and an unsanitized environment. It spread by walking barefoot on soils or direct ingestion of larvae. Most people who are infected with hookworm have few to lesser symptoms. Hookworm can also cause skin infection that includes the following symptoms:
- Sores and skin infection
- Extreme itchiness
- Red bumps on your skin
- Infected or inflamed hair follicles
What are the Risk Factors of Hookworm Infection?
- Living in areas with warm and moist climate
- Poor sanitation
- Poor hygiene
- Walking barefoot in an infected area
- Direct contact with an infected person
- Children playing contaminated soil
- Contaminated water
How to Diagnose Hookworm Infection?
Your doctor will assess the symptoms and medical history. Medical providers can also diagnose hookworm infection through blood and stool samples.
Treatment of Hookworm Infection
The treatment period and medication depending on the severity of the symptoms. Treatment includes Antihelminthic medication. It treats worm infections and Helminth. Some cases may also do not need any treatment but it is better to inform your doctor as soon as you or your child experience adverse symptoms.
Antihelminthic medications can get rid of parasitic worms in the body. It is typical for hookworm other parasitic infections. Your doctor may recommend any of the following medications:
How to Prevent Hookworm Infection?
- Wear shoes outside
- Avoid drinking running water or faucet water when traveling to unsanitized places
- Avoid eating half-cooked or raw foods
- Avoid skin contact with animal stool
- Disinfect your home
- Wash the fruits and vegetables with clear water before cooking or eating
- Avoid skin contact with an infected person
- Inform your doctor if the symptoms persist